Monday, November 19, 2007


Anyone interested in the more unusual or adventurous end of the electronic music spectrum, away from the cosy, middle-class, club-friendly click-snik-blip of Minimal, should check out this pair of offerings from Nuslux.

In case you can't read the text on the front of "Triple" it reads:

"100% Short Circuit Sounds: 10 pots of 2 Oscillators in 3 glasses of water" The photograph on the cover pretty much sums it up. Been playing this for weeks, fool; so time to write dn some impressions.

No track titles far as I can see, so make yr own up.

'One' is like an itch you can't skratch on the inside of yr skull - a pair of large black beetles armed w/ Black n Deckers take turns to drill little holes in your head until it resembles swiss cheese. It's the new thing: trepanning for the Post-E-generation. This sounds great thru me speakers, the oscillations build up a weird see-saw momentuum as they swing between yr tweeters like crazed electronic spider-monkeys.

"Two" is just plain RUDE!

"Three" is an outbreak of panic, an alarm-bell sounding in a termite-hill, sending its tiny robotic inhabitants scuttling out into the sunshine, only to find it was a false-alarm. If it had beats under it, it would be the filthiest piece of Punk-Electro ever made. But that's not the point is it, really. Love the way this slows dn til it sounds like a digital whoopee-cushion.

"Four" flanges its way around the room, like metallic dragonflies or rapidly-deflating balloons that whoosh and flap and flop around like some mutant species of flying-fish.

"Five" is a horrible little albino mosquito that keeps landing on your arm and drawing blood.

(Waitaminute - this is "Seven" now! I've missed one or two somehow....oh, fuck, now it's "Eight"...hang on! can't keep up...)

"Eight" is a enormous vibrator giving a giraffe a good seeing to. A voice seems to be saying "lovelylovelylovelylovelylovelylovelylovelylovely" over n over again in time to the oscillations. In the end, everyone goes home happy.

"Nine" is an old German moped that won't quite start, driven by a man with a tuning-fork head.

"Ten" is a robot eating the largest bar of Crunchie ever seen, his skin crackling with a shroud of blue and white static...after a while he builds up some odd inner rhythm, like one of those nodding glass ostriches you used to be able to buy in the 70s, the one's that peck away at a glass of water...hmmm: good accidental analogy, Kek...

There's loads of tracks on this, none of which outlast their welcome, each different and each equally inventive; it's triffik stuff and very different from the previous Nuslux release.

Roope kindly explains his unusual sound-generation methodology:

"The water connects the cables that are random +'s or -'s from the oscillator pots (both oscillators have 5 pots that modify the wave lengths, cut frequencies...). So very random things are connected. I guess the result is somewhere between short circuit and the basic idea of a synthesizer. Also the water does its thing for the sound. The location of the cable in the glass effects the sound. Also, sometimes the amount of the cable that is under water seems to matter. It's quite random what happens and infinitely interesting. Now i'm working on a more 'Pro' version of the "tool" and trying to fix my sampler whch might work well with the short circuit sounds - maybe in live sets too!"

I don't think "Triple" is available on any specific label, but if you head over to the Lal Lal Lal site, I think Roope is selling this for around 4 Euros - why don't you pop over and ask him.

"Folköl" has a completely different vibe - it was recorded live in Malmö, Sweden in April 07 and starts off with what sounds like hissing air, then gentle, pulsing carrier-waves of sound, like a sad, lost wireless-set looking for friends in an uncaring world.

Actually, I just realised I was playing this too quietly, so I turned up the CD-player....Jesus! That's a heckuva lot scarier now: the electronics sound like some sort of semi-human voice crossed with a violin...when Roope pans or fast-EQs the pots, frequencies flicker up and dn the audiable sound-spectrum playing tricks with your ears as pulses drop in and out of audibility: fast on/off, dot-dash strobes of noise. These are replaced by weird, loud click n clack sounds like a telegraph-operator on barbs, underpined by a odd whining sound and sending out some pointless scrambled message to the next railway station: then something that sounds like an angry wasp scratching at a balloon or playing a fuzz-gtr attempts to solo...

A small colony of child-mechanisms get cornered in a burrow made from iron filings and metallic swarf by some sort of awful wind-instrument that tries to bully them. Some sort of binary debate ensues. Blooooops, blorrrrrrrps and Mwahhwhoooops: is Roope playing his oscillators through a wah-wah pedal or something? The sounds pulse and ooze, there are cyclical repetitions, but nothing stays the same for long; it's never, ever dull - the permutations seem to be almost infinite and this is an incredibly 'visual'-sounding music - given it's deceptively simplistic basis, you'd expect it to fall into a series of set 'routines' but it never does, which is a credit to Roope's own imagination and moment it sounds like an elephant being smothered under a huge pillow, the next some sort of miniature reminds me of the open-ended music of early Krautronic pioneers like Kluster/Conrad Schnitzler, the pre-TG generation of explorers who approached electronics with absolutely no preconcieved ideas. There was no rule-book back then; unfortunately, since the early 70s, someone's gone and written one...great that people like Roope are tearing it up and starting from scratch.

As Roope himself says: "Nuclear's a motherfucker."

Available from Lal Lal Lal or from those wonderful folks at Oh No, More Tapes! Tell 'em that Ol' Monkeyfist Greycell sent ya....